The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence. – Denis Waitley

Children can be really expensive (I know, I have four at home). Beyond the basics of food, shelter and clothing there are so many other things that children need that can put a strain on your family’s finances. Then there is the innate desire inside all parents to surprise and delight your child with random treats and treasures because…well, just because!

The good news is that some of the most valuable and enduring things that we can give to our children don’t cost much in monetary terms. All they require is a bit of thought, time and application but their value is immeasurable. Here are … gifts you can (and should) give to your children.

Teach them to be generous

The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller. – Proverbs 11:24

A generous person is a joy to be around. They have a ‘glass half full’ mentality and don’t focus on lack. Teaching your children to be generous reminds them that life is about sharing and giving away by choice happily instead of holding onto things and being fearful of losing what they have.

Teach them to be kind

Kindness can sometimes be seen as a soft and gentle character trait but there is a power that comes with being kind to others. Showing others respect, being gracious to those who maybe haven’t deserved it and treating everyone in the same polite manner is really a superpower.

Teach them to apologise

Being able to admit when you’ve made a mistake and make right with people who you’ve hurt or offended isn’t easy but it can save you years of heartache and strife! In turn it also teaches your child that relationships are important and good ones are worth more than your own pride.

Teach them to be patience

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. – Ecclesiastes 3:1

Everything truly worthwhile takes time. In an instantaneous society being able to wait for something may seem to be pointless but the ability to be patient and not always seek instant gratification is a skill that will stand any child in good stead. Getting an education, building lasting and fruitful relationships, creating the kind of career most people can only dream of, all of these things require a level of patience. There is a time for everything and it’s important that you don’t walk away and miss the moment.

Teach them to disagree well

You’re never going to get along with everyone all the time. Disagreements happen and opinions will often differ. Being able to disagree respectfully and discuss opposing views without name calling or yelling is a skill that most adults could brush up on. A child who learns that you don’t always have to agree with someone in order to be their friend or respect them is going to have a much easier job navigating relationships with people from different backgrounds and walks of life when they get older.

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